I am thinking this morning about the mom's of the addicts. These mother's are unique. They live with constant heartbreak nipping at their heels, they continue to love and carry hope even when common sense would say that there is none....their mantra becomes "where there is breath there is hope." They will do anything to save their child, EVEN the unfathomable act of letting them go. The courage these women carry and walk in daily is unfathomable to most. The disease their children live with day after day carries an ugly stigma with it. There is no sympathy. No fundraisers, no home cooked dinners being delivered. The depth of the silence....all the words that are NOT said, is deafening. The shame that our children carry and that we carry as their mother's cloaks our shoulders with heaviness.
The things that these mother's do in support of their children is nothing short of Herculean effort and Mother Theresa gentleness. Recently a mother sent me a song that she wrote, a joint effort with others who love her child, a beautiful tribute to the love that all carry for that child. There are the mother's who face every deep dark corner of their own character defects, they make amends for not being a perfect mother, they agonize over what they did to create this illness in their child...only to find out that they didn't cause it, they can't cure it, and they can't control it, but depending on their actions of love, they can contribute to its daily sustenance. So they dig deep within themselves, feeling like they are ripping off their own limbs and they stop "helping." They love freely, but they learn through some unfathomable circumstances to leave the choices and the acts of free will with their writhing child.
I think of the mother's who are now raising their grand children, the children of their addicted children. They sacrifice the entire length of their lives to care for these babies and young children. They hope with every fiber of their being that they can guide these children, teach these children to avoid the paths that their parents took. We talk to our younger generation about the gruesome details of addiction hoping to scare them straight. The genetic predisposition, where to seek help, how to seek help, its ok to need help to figure out how to navigate life healthfully in this crazy world.
I think of the mother's who stand still not knowing what else to do and the fear and the sadness they hold....all while putting on a smile to carry on at their jobs that they desperately need to keep, to afford the credit card bills for the multiple attempts of rehab, trying anything to save their child, who is now back out in their addiction.
That any of us find a way to survive this anomaly of regular life is a miracle.
For me personally, Alanon saved my life. It taught me how to live my life and detach from my daughters. I love my program and am forever grateful for it. However, it took time, years, and I am always still learning how to love my girl in the healthiest way for both of us....and not feel guilty about it for not being what I had always envisioned for us.
Like anywhere, there are people within the program who will tell you how to do it....which is why most of us find our way into those rooms to begin with. We think we know what is best for everyone else and if they would all just listen to us, we could lead them to the promised land! Even within the walls of Alanon, we get to learn at our own speed, take action at our own speed, learn how to keep the focus on ourselves and move forward as OUR path unfolds in front of us....no matter what any well meaning person says. There are no musts in Alanon. There will be a lot of first tries, a lot of false starts, a lot of mistakes, but that is how we learn and have it reinforced for us what does and doesn't work. So don't give up! Keep coming back!
This morning, I tip my hat, I honor you, fellow mom's of our much loved addicted kids. You are beautiful, and smart, and loving. You are tired but strong. Bless your kind and gentle hearts, my kindred sisters.